Relief and Exemptions

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3. Discretionary relief

We have the discretion to grant relief of up to 100% of the rates on properties occupied by certain non-profit making bodies, or in the case of registered charities that are entitled to 80% mandatory relief, to top up the relief to 100%. The range of bodies qualifying for relief is varied, but all are non-profit making.

In deciding whether to grant discretionary relief, the Council will look at the contribution that the organisation makes to the area. Other criteria that are assessed are:

Access and membership

The level of the joining or membership fee and restrictions placed on membership:

  • an excessive membership fee will be seen as restrictive
  • membership should be open to everybody
  • 75% of members must be Exeter residents

The level of effort made by the organisation to encourage membership from groups such as young people, disabled persons, ethnic minorities, unemployed people:

  • membership should consist of at least 25% of people from such groups
  • the facilities should be made available to people other than members
  • differential fee structures for such groups
  • schemes of education or training for such groups

The Council will take into account whether the building is accessible to disabled people or if attempts are being made to make it accessible.

Other considerations

In the case of sports clubs - whether an application has been made by the club for Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status. If  CASC status is granted 80% rate relief will be granted.

  • Sports clubs should contact the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) (external site) for an application form
  • No application for relief will be considered by the Council without evidence of a refused application for Community Amateur Sports Club status

An application for relief can only be backdated to the beginning of the financial year in which the application was made.  The Council will carry out regular reviews of those organisations in receipt of relief.

Download a discretionary relief claim form to print off and send to us or contact us to get a copy

Return your completed forms to the Business Rates Service.